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Joe Jacob offers his insight….

As a fan of both bush and city living, interior designer Joe Jacob’s unmissable energy is reflected in the interiors he puts together. He has a definite passion for creating layered, luxurious spaces that have that ‘lived-in’ look and feel. His own Sandton, Joburg, apartment (featured in the September 2010 issue of House and Leisure) is a hub of eclectic furniture, subtle metallics and varied textures. Still, Joe describes himself as a bit of a Madonna, saying, ‘I like to think that my style changes all the time and that I’m constantly reinventing myself with every project I do.’ We chatted to this design talent about reinventing your home for the warmer months…

What’s the forecast for summer trends and colours this season?

I have always been a fan of deep, rich colours for the inside of your home, creating depth and coolness like the shadows of a canopy of trees, complimented by greys, pale blues and neutrals. Then experiment with brighter colours outside on the veranda or balcony that reflect summer’s vibrancy. Add little hints that can be transformed seasonally like citrus scatters or an orange table cloth. Colour to me doesn’t mean block shading entire areas, but rather adding variety through tinted glasses, textured runners and beautiful trimmings.

What are some of the design elements to consider when giving your house a summer facelift?

  • Rather than change your whole house, paint a feature wall.
  • Fill vases with flowers and scents that will permeate the divisions.
  • Throws and the ever-popular scatter cushion are a fast and easy way to change a look.
  • Open curtains and fold open the doors for a spacious summery flow.

What are the three quickest ways to turn your interiors from winter gloom to summer swoon?

The ‘S’ in summer stands for SUN – it affects our world in every way. Everybody always says ‘I can’t wait for summer to return’! Look around you – bring the greens from your garden into your house. By echoing that delicious-monster in your courtyard, displaying its leaves in tall, elegant vases, you bring the outdoors in. Beautiful, exotic fruits become available – use your resources, stack them in oversized bowls and display them on a kitchen counter or dining room table. A black ceramic bowl with a towering green apple arrangement brings such easy freshness to any room.

What’s your choice of classic furnishings that won’t date?

I believe that if you keep the main pieces of your interior classic and neutral you will achieve a look that won’t date. Try dressing your couches in beautiful dark grey linens and pair your eating spaces with contemporary walnut or French polished antique tables. You can change your smaller pieces for a spruced up seasonal look; a good idea is to re-upholster chairs or vamp up a statement ottoman. Another great trick is to switch dated dining chairs for contemporary Eames- style chairs to add a little contemporary edge. Keep the bold prints and colours for the less significant items, so that it’s easy and not so expensive to modify.

What are your favourite perks of the job?

It’s that first vision I get when working on a project for a room or specific space, an image or idea that just catapults the rest of the design and thought process forward for me. Also, I love the challenge of dealing with different concepts, cultures and the visions of clients; being able to create something memorable for both the customer and myself.

How do you keep up to date with and reflect the ever-evolving design scene in your interiors?

I see style as evolution. It grows and changes all the time. It adapts and it creates something new. I find a lot of direction from nature and clothing, magnifying the diminutive and mundane to glorifying the vibrant creations from Fashion Weeks world-wide.

For more information you can email Joe Jacob at info@waxbill.co.za.

Images: Elsa Young